restorative justice; participation; victim–offender mediation; observations


Criminology and Criminal Justice


Victim–offender mediation has grown to establish itself among criminal justice practices as an alternative to traditionally retributive notions of justice. As the number of programs claiming to be restorative in nature continues to grow, victim–offender mediation programs are emerging as one of the state’s preferred delivery methods for restorative justice. Restorative practices, including victim–offender mediation, are inclusive practices. Participation is not only encouraged, it is a necessary element for victim–offender mediation to achieve restorative outcomes. Through the use of observations and content analysis of agreements produced in victim–offender mediation, this research uncovers several impediments to individual participation, including problems in the implementation of restorative practices; participant domination, including victim lecturing; and a lack of awareness among the participants about the restorative vision of justice.


Original Citation: Gerkin, Patrick M. "Participation in Victim–Offender Mediation: Lessons Learned From Observations." Criminal Justice Review 34, no. 2 (2009): 226-247.